If you visit Alghero on the northwest coast of the island of Sardinia you can count on amazing hidden gems: archaeological remains dating back 6,000 years, gorgeous beaches, delectable food you've thus far never encountered, markets, handicrafts, festivals and more. In today's episode James Martin from Wandering Italy shares his insider secrets into this spectacular corner of Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian). He's full of Sardinian stories and tips on things to do and eat that you won't have heard about from anyone else.
Sardinia has its own language - Sardinian - and there are dialects throughout the country of Sardinian. You'll also hear Spanish spoken and feel the Catalan atmosphere dating back to the Spanish control of the island from 1479 to 1713.
From the city skyline of Alghero to the grazing sheep on the coastal mountains between Alghero and Bosa, the views are spectacular.
Sardinia is full of ancient sacred wells and nuraghe, like this one. James shares information on both.
Beaches and sand dunes throughout the island are spectacular.
The episode tells it all but if you'd like to dig deeper into some of the hidden gems of Alghero, Sardinia that James talks about check out these links.
Sardinia is full of fairs and festivals for food, handicrafts and activities. It's well-known for its unusual horse-races like this one that you can reach in a short day trip from Alghero.
One of Sardinia's specialty crafts is knife-making. Most are made in Gavoi.
The Alghero central market, La Boqueria.
Sardinia's best wine is Cannonau and it's produced all over the island.
Italy is famous for many liqueurs and cocktails and here are a few more.
Another delicious dish is fregula with clams.
It's made with Sardinian fregula . Semolina flour is rolled with a bit of water into small balls and toasted. It’s an ideal pasta for seafood and you can find it through the above link to make it yourself.
Wherever you go throughout the island in search of its hidden gems the pecorino cheese is fabulous. It's the only Italian pecorino made with whole sheep's milk. Many pecorino cheese makers throughout Italy are of Sardinian heritage.
The heritage of specialty Italian food products is often protected by the Italian government in conjunction with the European union as either IGP or DOP products, like the pecorino cheese.
Culurgiones is a pasta shape unique to Sardinia. It's a beautiful and intricate shape and these culurgione are served simply with oil and Sardinian pecorino cheese.
If you want to learn to make this pasta and other scrumptious Sardinian dishes then check out this new cookbook, Bitter Honey, by Letitia Clark and add it to your collection:
Flavor of Italy organizes weeklong trips throughout Italy and if you'd like to join a trip to explore the hidden gems of Alghero Sardinia and beyond just let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact me if you'd like to explore Sardinian food in a one day cooking class.
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